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From Trials to Triumph

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    Saul Under Conviction

    In that moment of divine revelation Saul remembered with terror that Stephen had been sacrificed by his consent and that many other followers of Jesus had met death through his instrumentality. Stephen's clear reasoning could not be controverted. The learned Jew had seen the face of the martyr as if it had been “the face of an angel.” Acts 6:15. He had witnessed Stephen's forgiveness of his enemies. He also had witnessed the fortitude and cheerful resignation of many whom he had caused to be tormented. He had seen some yield up even their lives with rejoicing for their faith.TT 62.2

    All these things had at times thrust upon Saul's mind an almost overwhelming conviction that Jesus was the promised Messiah. At such times he had struggled for entire nights against this conviction. Now Christ had spoken with His own voice, saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” And the question, “Who art Thou, Lord?” was answered by the same voice, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” Christ here identifies Himself with His people. In persecuting the followers of Jesus, Saul had struck directly against the Lord of heaven.TT 62.3

    “Trembling and astonished,” he inquired, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” When Saul arose from the ground, he found himself totally deprived of sight. He believed that this blindness was a punishment from God. In terrible darkness he groped about, and his companions in fear “led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.”TT 62.4

    On the morning of that day, Saul had neared Damascus with feelings of self-satisfaction because of the confidence placed in him by the chief priest. He was to check the spread of the new faith in Damascus and had looked forward with anticipation to the experiences before him.TT 63.1

    But how unlike his anticipations was his entrance into the city! Blind, tortured by remorse, knowing not what judgment might be in store for him, he sought out the home of the disciple Judas, where, in solitude, he had ample opportunity for reflection and prayer.TT 63.2

    For three days Saul was “without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.” Again and again he recalled with anguish his guilt in allowing himself to be controlled by the malice of the priests and rulers, even when the face of Stephen had been lighted up with the radiance of heaven. He recounted the many times he had closed his eyes against evidence and had urged the persecution of believers in Jesus.TT 63.3

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